Tim Lincecum worked out for between 15 and 20 teams yesterday, per a pair of reports from Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times and Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Both reports peg Lincecum’s fastball between 90 and 92 mph at the showcase, with Feinsand noting that he touched 93 mph at one point and Divish specifying that the pitch sat in the 91 mph range for the most part. (His fastball sat 87.7 mph with the Angels in 2016 and 87.2 mph with the Giants in 2015.) Divish spoke to an NL scout who stated that Lincecum showed “a better shape and bite to his curveball than in past years” and a better changeup, though he also suggested that the two-time Cy Young winner currently lacks a true out pitch. Feinsand notes that Lincecum didn’t personally meet with any scouts or team executives before or after the showcase yesterday, adding that he “took awhile to get warmed up,” which wouldn’t be ideal for teams interested in him as a reliever.
Both reports suggest, though, that Lincecum should have no trouble finding a big league invite to Spring Training based on yesterday’s results.
Some more free agent chatter from around the league as the weekend approaches…
- The Padres’ personnel department has “fallen in love” with Eric Hosmer, writes Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego continues to maintain serious interest in adding Hosmer’s bat and leadership skills to its emerging core of young players — so much so that two sources indicated to Acee that the team would forgo making a big splash in next year’s free agent crop if it meant signing Hosmer this winter. Part of that likely stems from their interest in Hosmer, while some of the thinking is likely also attributable to the fact that more traditional big spenders like the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox (as well as possibly the Rangers and Giants) will be more aggressive next winter. It’s difficult, after all, to envision the Friars topping any of those deep-pocketed clubs in a bidding war.
- Lincecum wasn’t the only pitcher to host a showcase on Thursday; ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports (via Twitter) that left-hander Kevin Siegrist pitched for a crowd of about 20 scouts in Florida yesterday in an effort to show that he’s healthy after a poor, injury-marred 2017 season. The 28-year-old Siegrist posted sub-3.00 ERAs with the Cardinals in 2015-16 before struggling to a 4.81 ERA last year in season during which he logged DL time for both a forearm issue and a spinal sprain. Siegrist averaged a career-worst 5.03 walks per nine innings pitched last season, and his 92 mph average fastball was down noticeably from his peak, when his heater averaged 93.7 mph. Any club that signs Siegrist for the 2018 season could control him through 2019 via arbitration, as he presently has four years, 116 days of MLB service time.
- Free-agent righty Chris Tillman had multiple offers in hand as of yesterday afternoon, per MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli (Twitter link), though the Orioles had not yet made him a formal offer to return at that point. Baltimore has been linked to Tillman, its longtime top starter, throughout the offseason. The Orioles still have a pair of open rotation spots even after signing Andrew Cashner to a two-year contract. Tillman, 30 in April, turned in a catastrophic 7.84 ERA in 93 innings last year in a season that was largely derailed by shoulder injuries. He’s also been linked to the Twins, Blue Jays and Phillies over the past month or so, although the Jays may be off the table now after signing Jaime Garcia to a one-year deal yesterday.
- The Mets had interest in Jaime Garcia before he signed with Toronto on Thursday, per Mike Puma of the New York Post. The Mets are focusing their efforts on adding a starter that won’t come with draft/international forfeitures (i.e. Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, Jake Arrieta). Puma reported yesterday that Jason Vargas remains on the Mets’ list of targets, noting that he was briefly with the organization back in 2007-08 and has spent the past four seasons working with new Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland, who formerly held that same position with the Royals.